Thursday, May 31, 2007

Methamphetamine: Oppression on the Plains

Northern Plains Anglicans welcomes this contribution from Mr. Hal Perry, a faithful Anglican Christian and a staff member at Glory House, Sioux Falls. Glory House offers both residential and out-patient care to men and women coming out of correctional institutions and to those grappling with substance abuse. Your prayers and support are appreciated:

Methamphetamine inflicts a devastating toll on our Community. The Statistics are alarming; more than 12 million American have tried methamphetamine, and 1.5 million are regular users, according to federal estimates. Meth-making operations have been uncovered in all 50 states. Cops nationwide rank meth the No. 1 drug they battle today: in a survey of 500 law-enforcement agencies, 58 percent said meth is their biggest drug problem. Nationwide 47 percent of all female and 39 percent of all male arrests are for meth use. Meth truly has become like an elephant in our living room.

In South Dakota, Methamphetamine use is of epidemic proportion. Of the 350 plus females in prison in Pierre over 50 percent are there for meth use. Because of meth use the Department of Corrections budget has escalated to 100 million dollars annually. Minnehaha County (Ed: includes most of Sioux Falls and a number of other cities) and the surrounding area have experienced a 400 percent increase in the last year, destroying many individual and family lives. In 2005, 16 meth labs were discovered in our state. In the last 30 days 5 meth labs have been found in just Minnehaha County.

Friends, this is the kind of stuff that churches often avoid, but this is right where our enemy, the devil, is oppressing people that Christ longs to save. What can we do?
  • Pray - ask Jesus to deliver and heal those who are addicted, and pray that God will break the devil's terrible meth-weapon (Psalm 46:9).
  • Give - if you are one of the many Anglicans leery of putting your money into The Episcopal Church, find ministries like Glory House and fund their work.
  • Work - sponsor information nights in your community. State and local officials, law enforcement, medical, education and substance abuse professionals are all potential resources to speak to your community.


Chip Johnson+, SF, CoJ said...

We had an information seminar in Hot Springs about eight weeks ago, at which, one of the State Criminal Investigators stated that there had been only 5 meth labs 'busted' west river so far this year. Some where, some how, someone has their tales twisted, and I tend to believe the Minnehaha County reports, since I have several years in the dim, dark past in law enforement.

As a 'street priest' here, I see many addicted people each week, and their comments to me indicate that there is a more than significant presence of labs here. CID said that all of ours now is imported from Mexico and Colorado, since it is easier and more profitable to import meth than to take the risk of cooking it.but I don't feel that their information is accurate.

oblate-bca said...

About 4 weeks the Sioux Falls police raided a house 1/2 block from my son's middle school, Patrick Henry. The amazing thing about this is the neighbors never turned them in. It was the gas meter reader who noticed an odd smell around the house.

My son had attended a Meth seminar put on by The Church of the Good Shepherd, Hal Perry and Holy Apostles Chuch. He knew what was going on when they had the school in lock down during the daytime bust. He had recieved the knowledge so he could talk to his friends about what was going on. I thank Good Shepherd and Hal Perry for that.

This is just not a poor person's problem. This is now everyone's problem. The house they busted was in a nice neighborhood with expensive houses not some neglected house on the north side of the city. We need to have more education in churches, school and civic events.

We also need to pray to God. Psalm 46 also says: God is our refuge and strenghth, a very present help in trouble. (Ps 46:1)